Answered By: Susan Steele
Last Updated: Nov 11, 2017     Views: 142

Peer review refers to using experts from the same subject field or profession as the author to evaluate a manuscript prior to its acceptance for publication in a scholarly or academic journal. Peer-reviewed journals also are called refereed journals.

Most research databases that include journal content have a limiter for peer review, although how it looks may vary from one resource to another.

Sample peer-review limiters from Academic Search Complete, Sociologial Abstracts, and OneSearch

Because peer-reviewed journals may include editorials, book reviews, or other brief items, examine a retrieved article for clues that it is scholarly in nature:

  • Does it report on a research study, or does it provide new analysis on a topic, theory, or literary or artistic work?
  • Does it contain references (a bibliography of cited works)?
  • Is it more than a few pages long?
  • How does the author support his or her claims -- are they well documented with good evidence?

If in doubt about whether an article meets requirements for an assignment, always check with your professor.